Important: Students should not restrict their search for a supervisor to those listed below. Use other sources of information on research groups to find out about possible supervisors. Most UROP research experiences are obtained with staff who do not advertise their availability. However, please also take note of the list of non-participating staff.

UROP Opportunities in the Faculty of Natural Sciences
UROP Opportunities in the Faculty of Natural Sciences
Title of UROP Opportunity (Research Experience) & DetailsExperience required (if any)Contact Details and any further Information
Gene Regulation: Study the molecular biology of gene regulation at the level of RNA polymorase activity, in particular protein-protein interactions that control transcription initiation.  Molecular biology and biochemistry background

Professor Martin Buck, Integrative Cell Biology, Dept of Life Sciences, Room 448, Sir Alexander Fleming Building, South Kensington Campus. Tel: 020 7594 5442 Email: 

Magnetism: We offer a variety of projects which vary from year to year based in the area of magnetism. The work usually involves using cryogenics and training on large commercial pieces of apparatus such as magnetometers or electrical transport rigs.

Preferably good experimental skills which means competence with software programs and confidence with handling experimental apparatus. Some of the experimental work is quite detailed. The work may also involve processing and analysis of data.

Professor Lesley Cohen, Experimental & Solid State Physics, Department of Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, 912 Blackett Laboratory, South Kensington Campus. Tel: 020 7594 7598 Email:

Second and third year students only.

Summer vacation only


Design of a Novel Neutrino Detector: Neutrino physicists are already measuring physics beyond the Standard Model, whilst the LHC searches for supersymmetry and extra dimensions.

The discovery of neutrino mass and flavour oscillation is the first confirmed observation of physics beyond the Standard Model [1,2]. The next generation of experiments will perform highly sensitive searches for violation of charge-parity (CP) symmetry with neutrinos [3,4]. CP symmetry means that the laws of nature s hould be the same for antimatter seen through a mirror as they are for normal matter. This symmetry is known to be violated by quarks, but at a very small level. If neutrinos violate CP symmetry at a large level, this could explain why the universe is made of matter and not antimatter!

One of the requirements for the success of future experiments is improved understanding of the interactions of neutrinos and antineutrinos with nuclei [5]. This project is to design a new type of detector, comprising a high-pressure gas time-projection-chamber (HPTPC) [6], to make the necessary measurements.

Imperial College is involved in the proposed Hyper-Kamiokande neutrino experiment in Japan [4], which will be the most precise accelerator neutrino oscillation experiment with world-leading sensitivity to νe appearance and νμ disappearance. We are specifically involved in the efforts to design a new near detector capable of measuring neutrino-nucleus interactions with 1% systematic uncertainty.

This project will involve computational work to develop a Monte Carlo simulation of an HPTPC detector, with the goal of optimising the design for neutrino oscillation measurements. The student will learn to use the ROOT and GEANT4 software packages (both use C++) which are standard tools for high energy physics. The end goal of the project is a conceptual detector design suitable for submission to a national lab or funding body.

An open mind and willingness to tackle difficult problems is required. Experience with C++ coding is useful

Dr Morgan Wascko, Dept of Physics, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Blackett Laboratory, Room 525, South Kensington Campus. Tel: 0207 594 1607. Email:

Theory and Simulation of Materials

The Theory and Simulation of Materials Centre for Doctoral Training is offering a number of UROP projects this summer in areas across Physics, Materials, Chemistry and Engineering.


For more information on possible projects and details of how to apply for summer 2018 please visit our website in January/February:


Preparatory Studies for Analysing Data from the COMET Muon-to-Electron Conversion Search Experiment: The Standard Model of Particle Physics is known to be wrong, and cannot describe the phenomenon of neutrinos with mass. Direct searches for New Physics, such as at the LHC, are probing higher and higher energies, but are limited in how far high in energy they can reach. Precision measurements of existing processes, however, can uncover the physics of significantly higher scales than at the LHC. Muon-to-Electron Conversion is one of the best examples of lepton flavour-violating experimental processes which are some of the most sensitive probes to New Physics that are available to us.

COMET is an experiment is being built at the J-PARC accelerator laboratory in Japan. Any large-scale particle physics experiment is only built after a long preparatory period using physics principles, mathematics, computer simulations and analysis to design and optimise the experimental approach and the hardware and software to be built. COMET is currently between this stage and that when we will start taking data with the experiment. Therefore the software tools are ready, and the experiment is being built, but in order for us to be ready to analyse real data when it arrives, we need further preparatory work to produce simulated data, and devise analysis strategies that are robust and meaningful.

Students will run the standard COMET software that was developed at Imperial, and use it to produce simulated data and develop strategies to ‘analyse’ it using data-reduction techniques and statistical methods to extract useful physics information. For the duration of the project, they will become a member of the COMET experimental group at Imperial College, and participate in weekly group meetings, present their work to the group and discuss the work of others. While a formal report is not part of this standard UROP project, it is likely that a brief write-up or other record of the work performed be produced, to allow the results to be preserved for use by the experimental collaboration or future project students.

Skills and experience required: This project requires skills in computing, including the ability to perform data analysis using C++, and to work on Linux-based systems. Study material and advice to help students come up to speed with these will be provided. During the project, students will be expected to form an intuition for the behaviour of particles in solenoidal beam lines.

For this, a good understanding of the material presented in the particle and detector sections of an introductory Particle Physics course would be helpful.

Contact details: Dr Yoshi Uchida, Dept of Physics, Room 524, Blackett Laboratory, South Kensington Campus. Email:

UROP Opportunities in the Faculty of Natural Sciences